Boating vacations: itinerary in James Bond’s Bahamas


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The Central American archipelago of the Bahamas is a dream destination for boaters. But it is also the scene of many scenes starring cinema’s most famous secret agent

James Bond, the 007 of cinema, has often been featured in adventures in breathtaking locations, including dreamy places found in the Bahamas. The Central American country has been the scene of no fewer than four of Sean Connery, Roger Moore and Daniel Craig‘s James Bonds, where the big screen’s most famous agent often-very often-moved by sea, both over and under it. We take you to breathtaking places, deserted islands and endless beaches in the footsteps of cinema’s most famous spies. Welcome to the Bahamas, on the route of the James Bond films.

A Cocktail Martini – shaken, not stirred – to drink at sunset perhaps while standing at anchor in front of the five miles of white sand beach that makes Paradise Island one of the most beautiful destinations in the Bahamas. So can the first day of vacation begin while it is winter in Italy and the Mediterranean. An archipelago so beautiful that it has fascinated so many, navigators and not. This included James Bond, the legendary 007 of the movies, inventor (and drinker) of the famous martini-based drink, who in numerous of his “license to kill” adventures got to discover and appreciate the many nautical and natural beauties of the Central American country. Beginning in the 1960s, in fact, the Bahamas hosted four of Sean Connery’s James Bonds, Roger Moore, and Daniel Craig in their most glamorous locations. From here we propose this itinerary that film secret agents by land, but mostly by sea.

“License to Kill,” but in a dream place

If getting there by boat from the Mediterranean is, for obvious reasons, complicated, don’t be discouraged: there are several charter companies with offices in the country as well who can arrange a Bahamas charter with you and for you, including taking care of flights to and from Italy and all necessary transfers and services. The Bahamas is a collection of more than seven hundred islands. The city of Nassau, the country’s capital and its main center is located on the island of New Providence, which is one of the largest, though not the largest. It is the perfect place to start since theinternational airport that connects the Bahamas directly to the United States is located here even though Florida is “only” 250 nautical miles away. Before leaving, however, walk along at least the main thoroughfare of Bay Street. Here is the British Colonial Hilton Hotel that takes us back to the first James Bond film hosted in the Bahamas: in “Thunderball: Operation Thunder” the spy arrives in Nassau by sea and immediately stops at this hotel. Then down the road is the Pirates of Nassau Museum (info for guided tours, tel: +1.242.3563759). It is the place to immerse yourself in the epic of the Caribbean buccaneers so powerful that in the mid-eighteenth century they proclaimed a “Pirate Republic” in Nassau itself, led by, among others, the notorious and infamous Blackbeard.

First stop? In New Providence, perhaps starting along the north shore from the magnificent and secluded Cable Beach: about two kilometers long, it is characterized by the presence of very white sand and tall palm trees and is another spot associated with the 007 epic. In the past, in fact, behind the beach was a Casino at the tables of which we find our James Bond during a scene in the movie “Thunderball.” From here then the navigation continues southwest to Clifton Bay: well sheltered, it is enclosed by lush and verdant nature surrounding the beach of Jaw’s Beach which offshore is home to another 007 location, but underwater: the James Bond Wreck, a wreck at a depth of about 20 meters (thus reachable only by experienced divers) near which scenes from the 1983 film “Never Say Never” were filmed.

In the Bahamas’ smallest national park

Still on the 007 route, having completed the circumnavigation of the island of New Providence, one reaches another much smaller but beloved islet, Paradise Island. Sean Connery in “Thunderball: Operation Thunder” chose one of the long white beaches on the north side of the island to invite one of the legendary “Bond girls” to a romantic picnic on the sand. In much more recent years, Daniel Craig also returned to Paradise Island, during the filming of“Casino Royale” in 2006. After another 120 miles of sailing, the magnificent island of Grand Bahama is reached. For centuries it was uninhabited because of the shallow waters surrounding it. Its name comes from an Old Spanish term – bajamar – meaning “shallows,” consisting of a vast and lush coral reef that is also among the archipelago’s main attractions. Front and center on the island’s southern coast is a tiny and beautiful atoll that is protected by the Bahamas’ smallest National Park. It is called Peterson Cay (info on landing rules: tel. +1.242.3525438) and is home to a deserted, wild dream beach. Reachable only by sea and in front of which you can take a magnificent swim or enjoy snorkeling to admire the colorful reef fish. Another destination is Bimini: also home to a coral reef that is spectacular in color and wildlife. And here, too, of course, our James Bond made a detour. Marine and underwater footage used during the 1977 film“The Spy Who Loved Me” was shot here. A perfect place to give bottom is in the southern part of the North Bimini coast where the so-called Radio Beach is located. It is a small wild cove enclosed by a beach that becomes enchanting especially at sunset time.

Last stop: Exuma Islands

The last leg of this cruise finally takes us south to the Bahamas, where the Exuma Islands are located. It is an archipelago within an archipelago in that this group includes as many as 365 larger islands and tiny atolls. Toward the northern end of the Exumas is Staniel Cay, fantastic underwater cave system ideal for snorkeling as well as, of course, diving. And it is precisely here that we find our 007, again played by Sean Connery for the film “Thunderball.” Bond, in fact, explores these caves on foot and by swimming to uncover the shady dealings of his arch enemy, the villainous Emilio Largo, number two in the terrible Spectre. You, on the other hand, can enjoy a colorful coral reef among which swim thousands of brightly colored fish, such as yellowtail snappers and angel fish. Leaving Spectre’s secretive haven, a few miles northward here is another atoll, that of Compass Cay. Along its rugged coastline the reef is truly magnificent, while the islet is also perfect for an overnight stop by hosting a new (info: tel. +1.242.4227300) and perfectly equipped tourist marina.

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BARCHE USATE Vendono cinque “chicche” da 6 a 11 m



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